Have you heard of 'Cow Cuddling'? It's the hottest new wellness therapy, and it may be beneficial for your psychological wellbeing
[Photo by Lori Greig/Creative Commons License]

A new self-care practice that originated from the Netherlands promises practitioners serenity and is specifically designed to soothe and calm both spirit and body, and it’s called – Cow Cuddling.

What? Cow cuddling? Yup. You heard it right! It’s exactly what it sounds like – resting, hugging, and generally curling up and snuggling with this gentle farm animal. 

The Dutch call it “Koe knuffelen,” which translates to “cow hugging,” which is centered on the healing properties of human-to-animal body contact.

Cow cuddlers typically rest against a cow for two to three hours.

Practitioners attest that the bovine’s slower heartbeat, warmer body temperature, and gigantic size make it an incredibly soothing experience.   

“Our heart rate slows down when we get close to them, which has a calming effect. Our brain releases oxytocin, which makes us connect with the cows,” claims Lawrence Fox, who opened a cow cuddling business in Cairns, Australia. 

The cuddling experience is also pleasurable for the cattle themselves. 

According to a study by the Applied Animal Behavior Journal, cows show cues of deep relaxation when touched, hugged, and massaged in some regions of their upper back and neck.  

It seems that heartfelt bonding with bovines may just be what the doctor ordered.



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